Jesuits gather in Rome

Jesuit Curia Rome
Jesuit Curia, Rome/Liam O’Connell SJ

Could St Ignatius Loyola have envisioned that 476 years after his founding of the Society of Jesus, 212 participants would congregate in Rome to elect his 30th successor?

Going to the General Congregation: GC36

It rarely happens that a new Father General of the Jesuit order is elected and a General Congregation called. Within the coming weeks this decision will be made by an international gathering of Jesuit delegates from 62 countries. They will represent the membership of the largest order globally of Catholic priests and brothers.

The voice of the Irish Province will be brought to Rome by Fr Tom Layden SJ, the Provincial and Fr John K Guiney SJ, of the Irish Jesuit Missions office and the Centre for Faith and Justice, both based in Dublin.

tom layden sj and john guiney sj
Fr Tom Layden SJ and Fr John K Guiney SJ  

The present Father General Adolfo Nicolás SJ, has led the order since 2008 and is now resigning at the age of 80. Fr John Guiney requests: “Please keep us in your prayers as we elect a new leader for the Jesuits and reflect on the vision and mission of the Society of Jesus in the 21st century. Blessings and peace, John”

‘Rowing into the deep’

It won’t be an easy task. Ignatius himself prioritised the essential qualities of a leader as being of sound character, with a deep love for the Society and of good judgment accompanied by solid learning. Discussion of the direction for the order in today’s world will follow the election along with any necessary structural changes that may be identified.

The seafaring logo for GC36 was inspired by Pope Francis when he encouraged his fellow Jesuits to ‘row’ with him in the service of the Church echoing the call of Jesus to his disciples: “Row out into the deep water” (Lk 5:4).

logo gc36

Follow GC36 as it happens

This historic occasion is being relayed continuously on Facebook, and Twitter using the hashtag #GC36 and address @JesuitGC36. You can find visuals on Instagram and Flickr and videos on YouTube to keep you up to date. Just scroll down to the social media buttons at the GC36 website

Author: Compiled by Irish Jesuit Missions communications, 29th September 2016